Nor-Cal Guides and Sportsmen’s Association

Nor-Cal Guides and Sportsmen’s Association

Full Disclosure … This column on the Nor-Cal Guides and Sportsmen’s Association Dinner (NCGASA) gives us an important step forward for all the outdoor enthusiasts that read this weekly report. You’ll be interested in every word, just like I was. I like the real sense of urgency to deal with government officials who are entrusted with a legal and fiduciary responsibility to protect these resources. It’s time important voices challenged the sorry status quo.

Don’t worry, I’ll be back next week with updates on all of your favorite fishing holes.

I have seen the future of outdoor sports in Northern California … and it looks great – better than at any other time in my 46 years of fishing in California. On Saturday, I attended the dinner/fundraiser hosted by the NCGASA at the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds in Yuba City. The dinner was sold out and filled the Main Hall with 500 guests who paid $75 smackers each to attend.

You can learn all you need to about an organization by attending one of their affairs. This one was perfect. I’ll bet I counted a hundred members of all ages working hard, and smart, to ensure success. Example: two nice young teenagers helped me unload some Napa Valley wines that I was proud to deliver for the dinner from Trinchero, Duckhorn and Beringer.

Lots more moola was collected from auctions, raffles, outdoor sport challenges and drawings. All proceeds raised stay here in California to further the association’s aims. An additional touch was the recognition of military veterans in the room.

It started just as a nice presentation of the veterans present for a moving round of applause and for them to receive a complimentary Western Outdoor News subscription. But, instantly, the organizers said “no veteran goes home without a prize.” And, donors stood up and gave – every veteran received a prize. Mine was a free guided trip with Four of us will join owner Anthony Cox next spring for a day on the water.

Donors were not shy; whenever there was a chance to make the prize better, a member stood tall. In one case, six veterans won a free guided hunting trip in Africa – but with no airfare. Not a minute went by when another member said “I’ll pay for their flight.”

Yes, there was a lot of genuine energy and love in that hall. I’m betting that the next one will need 800 seats – and I’ll need to bring more Napa Valley wine. But the takeaway for me was the dedicated professionalism I saw demonstrated at every turn. It’s that same approach that NGGASA has promised to bring to improving outdoor recreational opportunities and activities. Look at a couple of key items from their fact sheet:

“Water, Fish and Wildlife … are Public Trust Resources, the property of the citizenry. Government officials are entrusted with a legal and fiduciary responsibility to protect these resources now – and for future generations.”

It is interesting to remember that America’s first preservationists and conservationists were its hunters and fishers. My Aunt Ida’s husband, Eddie, provided much of our winter protein with venison from the deer he hunted. It was classic “enlightened self-interest” as they understood their need for food was a key to their community activities. And so it remains hundreds of years later in the NCGASA mission statement:

“Nor-Cal Guides & Sportsmen’s Association is an organization which brings guides & sportsmen together to protect and increase hunting and fishing opportunities in Northern California! We work closely with many other conservation organizations to make sure our children and grandchildren have more fish and animals. Our organization acts as a powerful voice to represent all people who use Northern California’s waterways and lands. Fishermen who use our rivers have the most experience and knowledge on what’s truly happening to our rivers and lakes. Hunters who use our lands daily have the most knowledge on our lands and its needs. Together, we are the Sportsmen’s Voice!”

Now Meet The Team Honchos … James Stone, J.D. Richey, Seth Mitchell, Robert Weese Dunn, Aaron Zanocco, Kevin Brock, Bob Kelly Bob Boucke and Anthony Cox. They put in hundreds of hours on our behalf, So:

Let’s Put Some Skin In The Game … Go online to and join up today. I just did – actually, I bought five of them. It’s just $20 for an individual membership and only a $100 for a business membership. Heck, for 20 bucks each, start your kids off on a lifetime of service to their community with a NCGASA membership. I’ll get ‘em a job hauling wine at the next dinner/fundraiser.

This seems to me to be the perfect way for the hundreds of Napa Valley outdoor enthusiasts to make a significant contribution to the future of our outdoors. Twenty smackers is less than a couple of flick tix, and will last longer. Please join me in support of NCGASA. We’ll need a bus to take us to the next dinner.

I’m thinking a gift membership will be the perfect Holiday Stocking Stuffer for most of our friends and loved ones.

And, Here‘s a Crab Update … Hear all about it in just one sentence from Dave Hurley’s Monday Hot Sheet: “It was all about Dungeness crab and the crab/rockfish combinations on Saturday and Sunday, and all ports from Shelter Cove south to Half Moon Bay returned with spectacular results. Limits of big, meaty crab were the rule along with limits of rockfish and a healthy ling cod count.”

You realize that the noose tightens when the commercial crab fleet is let loose in about a week, so get your big ones now.

Email Bill Ryan at